Small, rural retirement homes get help with cost of installing sprinkler systems


ONTARIO-Small and rural retirement homes have been offered a lifeline from the Ontario government when it comes to keeping residents safe in case of a fire.

Beginning January 1, 2019, all retirement homes must be equipped with automatic fire sprinkler systems to meet new Ontario Fire Code requirements which can be expensive for smaller, older homes. Dipika Damerla, Minister of Seniors Affairs, was at a fire station in downtown Toronto today to announce the support and mark Fire Prevention Week. “The province is committed to ensuring the safety and security of seniors in retirement homes. We also understand that small and rural homes may need help installing vital sprinkler systems. Our cost-share funding program is a fair way to help homes meet fire code requirements and help seniors and their families feel safe and secure.” she said.

The province is putting 20 million dollars into the new cost sharing program which will help retrofit more than 6,000 suites across Ontario.Officials say automatic sprinklers are vital to the safety and security of all retirement home residents, staff and first responders.  “Automatic sprinklers save lives. They keep residents, workers and first responders safer in this province. I commend Ontario’s decision to help eligible homes take this important step.” said Laurie Johnston, CEO, Ontario Retirement Communities Association.

There are over 730 licensed retirement homes in the province of Ontario. Currently approximately 60 per cent of licensed retirement homes representing 70 per cent of beds have full automatic sprinkler systems.

Fire Prevention Week runs from October 8-14, 2017. This year’s theme is “Every Second Counts: Plan 2 Ways Out!”

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